DI: From a residents’ perspective

As Northern Kentucky University expands and awaits an invitation from a Division I conference, the people of Highland Heights and other cities in the Northern Kentucky area may face the transition of living in a more populated and progressive college community.

Some people within Highland Heights are positive and excited about the growth and move to D-I, but think it will take time for the area to see the full effects.

“I think Division I is a nice move to get some more recognition,” said Dick Mize of Highland Heights. “It will bring in more sports and a higher quality of athletes.”

Mize said he thinks that once Northern Kentucky University becomes more recognized and seasoned, it will bring in more ticket and revenue sales. Mize also feels that once this happens, enrollment will increase and better recruits will join the program.

Jim Raleigh of Highland Heights has a similar view on the growth within the community and the possible move to D-I.

“I think the growth over the past few years has had a positive impact on Highland Heights with tax revenue coming in and it bringing in new restaurants,” Raleigh said. “More things of that sort will be coming along in the future.”

Raleigh also feels the transition should help recruiting, but it will take some time to become competitive.

“There are some good athletes in Northern Kentucky the school can go after, so it’s positive,” Raleigh said. “It’s just going to take a little while.”

Another highly volatile issue within the community is traffic, according to Raleigh.

“I think traffic is already an issue,” Raleigh said. “I’ve lived in Campbell County all my life and the growth of not only Highland Heights, but NKU, and the whole Campbell County area has become an issue. Officials need to meet with the state highway board and do all kinds of different things with the 275 and 471 highways.”

Judy Ritter, another resident of Highland Heights, feels similar about the traffic situation, and sees another problem around NKU’s campus.

“We need speed bumps out there,” Ritter said. “I also have a problem with the litter. I’m not saying that it’s all students but some folks around here like to litter in the streets.”

With the traffic situation and the university expanding, NKU has had to start buying property around campus. Some people see it as positive progress, while others view it as a necessary process that is out of their control.

Raleigh said that he likes what they are doing with the property and believes that it is helping Highland Heights grow.

However, Ritter said there isn’t really anything residents can do about it anyway, so they just need to accept it and move on.